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WA authorities believe man who returned positive COVID-19 test after leaving hotel quarantine is non-infectious

A returned overseas traveller has produced a positive coronavirus test result after leaving hotel quarantine in Perth but authorities believe he is shedding viral particles and not infectious.

The maritime worker has been placed back into quarantine after returning a positive PCR test on Saturday morning, WA Health said on Sunday.

He had left the Pan Pacific Hotel in Perth a day earlier, having completed 14 days of quarantine.

During his time in the community, the man stayed at the Ibis hotel in Perth, ate at a restaurant and visited an Optus store and a pharmacy.

Chief Health Officer Andy Robertson said the man had been returned to hotel quarantine purely as a precaution.

“We believe he’s a non-infectious chronic shredder,” Dr Robertson told reporters.

“What he’s shedding is viral particles, he’s not shedding virus, so we don’t believe he is of major concern to the community.”

The man had been required by his employer to get tested upon leaving quarantine prior to boarding a vessel.

Anyone who attended the same venues as him will be contacted and encouraged to get a COVID-19 test as an additional precaution.

The man, who has been vaccinated and does not have a variant of concern, wore a face mask while he was out in the community and has remained asymptomatic.

He had originally tested positive on 21 May after arriving at the hotel from Colombia via the United States.

He is the same man – identified by WA Health as Case 1017 – who infected a guest in an adjoining room at the Pan Pacific last month.

The man staying next door had been in the hotel since 16 May and returned two negative tests before testing positive on day 13.

WA Health is yet to determine how the virus spread between the two rooms.

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